Media and public relations are much like front-line
sales. They require strategy and persistent follow-through to
be successful. Here is a breakdown of a media campaign to illustrate
five guerrilla tactics for garnering media coverage.
Guerrilla Tactic #1: Clearly define your objectives
Cancable Inc., a technology provider, was launching an emergency
computer help service, The Computer Care Association (CCA). LOOFAH
Communications was approached to facilitate needed
media exposure. The initial launch would take place in Kingston,
Ontario, home to more than 12,000 small offices/home offices, 75%
of which have one or more computers. Media objectives included:
* Create awareness of CCA as the "Canadian Auto Club"
for small office/home office computer users
* Brand CCA membership as "Worry Free" computing
* Achieve a higher profile with existing clients and prospective
* Recognition of Cancable as one of the largest mobile forces of
computer experts in Canada with a reputation for delivering friendly,
responsive onsite computer solutions
Guerrilla Tactic #2: Tell a compelling new story
No reporter or editor wants to be a vehicle for "flogging"
your product or service. Reporters and editors want stories that
are newsworthy and of interest to their reading, listening, and
viewing audience. A Kingston area Technology Fair was planned and
scheduled making the CCA Launch story more newsworthy. The theme
was "Technology made simple in the office of the future: Kingston
Tech Fair showcases the Worry-Free Computing Workplace."
It hit the right chord with the media and Kingston area small office/home
Guerrilla Tactic #3: Target the appropriate media, then follow-up
Sixteen Kingston area radio, TV, newspapers and community publications
were targeted to receive media kits that included background info,
media release, and sample CCA membership. To maximize the likelihood
of getting media coverage, we followed up by phone with reporters
and editors. Similar to a sales call, connecting to the right reporter
or editor made the difference as to whether the story would be picked
up or lost in the news shuffle. In our phone calls we not only confirmed
receipt of the media kits, but also presented the merits of the
story and how it would appeal to their audience. The results? Several
interviews with newspaper, radio, and TV were arranged with the
President of Canacable Inc.
Guerrilla Tactic #4: Train your spokespeople
A well-trained spokesperson is crucial to ensuring that your key
message points are received and broadcast to your prospective audience
the way you intend them to be read or heard. Coaching your spokesperson
on media skills, for good news and bad, is an invaluable investment.
Its important that your spokesperson know the basics:
* Understand contemporary media
* Maximize opportunities in working with the media
* Minimize the risks in working with the media
* Control the media interviews
What kind of results can you expect?
Numerous calls to each of the Kingston media contacts helped create
a receptive atmosphere and a keen interest in the Computer Care
Association story. Several print, radio and television media relationships
were established resulting in four interviews on radio and television
reaching more than 90,000 people.
The Kingston Business Journal ran a two-page spread with
the headline, "Worry-free computing come to Kingston".
On the front page below the fold, The Kingston Whig Standard,
ran the headline "Program like auto club membership for computers."
with a sub-headline, "If youre suffering from a PC headache
or need a computer solution to a pressing business matter, fast
relief is just a phone call away".
Guerrilla Tactic #5: Reprint media coverage
Reprinting your media coverage:
* Creates excellent 3rd party credibility
* Reinforces your sales collaterals
* Adds "weight" to the media kit
* Facilitate increased enthusiasm in the office workplace
Cameron Freeman is Director of Operations at
Loofah Communications, a Toronto-based marketing company. Recipient
of the International Association of Business Communicators, Ovation
Award of Excellence 2000 in the category of Electronic Interactive
Media, Camerons mission at LOOFAH Communications is: "to
help you achieve yours." Cameron has more than 15 years sales
and marketing experience, including front-line experience in media
relations, fundraising, and training and development. Cameron pushes
the limits of Internet technology and marketing expertise to your
business advantage. You can reach Cameron at firstname.lastname@example.org
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